The Process

You are always welcome to visit our studio and see us at work.
This is a brief overview of how we take a lump of clay and turn it into a work of art!

click on pictures below to enlarge them   

 Wedged and Weighed

  • First the clay must be wedged (which is a little like kneading bread) to make it homogeneous  and get any air bubbles out. If this process is missed and an air bubble is left in the clay, the pot could crack, bloat or even blow up in the kiln. 
  • The clay is then cut and weighed to ensure consistency in size.  This is particularly important when making  sets of mugs, plates or bowls.

Thrown and Created

>Wheel thrown

  • Clay must be centered on the wheel and then the magic occurs. 
  • Watch the video, above, of "The Hairy Potter" throwing a pot or visit the studio and watch him spin his magic!
>Created by hand
  • Clay is put through a slab roller to make it the desired thickness.
  • Then it is placed in or over a mold which we make, and sculpted to get the desired shape.


  • Once the pot is leather hard (usually a day later), the pot is put back on the wheel and the excess clay is trimmed off. This makes the bottom of the pot look finished. With hand built pieces, the rim is smoothed and  finished. At this point we sign our work.

    *sometimes Grahame (aka Poppy) gets help from his granddaughter!
 The 1st Firing, called the Bisque
  •  When the pots are completely dry, they are loaded into an electric kiln and fired for about 13 hours to 1880 degrees F.  The bisque firing makes the clay strong enough to handle and porous enough to absorb the glaze.
 Wiped and Waxed
  • Once the pots are cooled and removed from the electric kiln, they are wiped to remove fine dust particles that could hinder the glaze attaching to the pots.
  • The bottom of the pots are coated with paraffin wax to repel the glaze. If there is glaze on the bottom of the pot, it will fuse to the kiln shelf in the final firing.
 Glazed and Decorated
  • We mix our own glazes using formulas or recipes which have been garnered from various sources and further refined to suit our clay and firing process. This is a very exacting science; even minor variations in the recipes could result in disastrous results!
  • Each pot is dipped into the buckets of glaze to get the desired effect on the pots. Sometimes an airbrush is used to apply layers of glaze.
  • Details and brush work are added after the glaze is applied.
 Final Glaze Firing
  • The pots are  placed in our large outdoor propane fired kiln which we built in 1990.
  • It's like doing a jigsaw puzzle to get as many pots as possible into the kiln without touching.
  • Our firing technique is different from many potters. We use propane to fire the kiln, which allows us to “put the kiln in reduction”. This simply means that we  reduce the oxygen in the environment, causing the kiln to pull out oxides from both the clay body and the glazes, giving the finished product the distinctive  look of a reduction firing. The end result is rich and luscious, with a depth of colour that cannot be reproduced in an electric kiln.
  • The firing process also differs in that it is quite interactive. We need to closely monitor the kiln for the entire 20 + hours of firing, making adjustments as the kiln fires to cone 10, approximately 2300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Then we are done!

  • Once the kiln cools (at least 2 days) the pots are removed and the bottoms are sanded.
  • This stage is so exciting!  Each kiln load produces slightly different results, sometimes yielding interesting, amazing or unusual glazes.
  • Finally the pots are displayed in our studio for you to enjoy!

The entire process, from start to finish, takes at least 3 weeks if all three of us are working at full capacity.



And then we start all over again....